* WASHINGTON (9/10/09)--The Treasury is planning to encourage short sales and deeds with financial incentives, including a $1,000 success fee for servicers after a short sale is finished. The home seller would receive up to $1,500 for relocation expenses (American Banker
Sept. 9). The plan, expected to be announced this month, aims to help troubled homeowners who are not eligible for the Obama administration’s loan modification program. Short sales allow homeowners to sell for less than what is owed on the mortgage and are viewed as less expensive than foreclosures ... * WASHINGTON (9/10/09)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Board adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking that phases out the debt guarantee component of the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program on Oct. 31. The FDIC seeks comment on whether a temporary, emergency facility should be left in place after the program expires. The FDIC has collected more than $9 billion in fees with the program and will use the money to offset resolution costs associated with bank failures, said FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair. The program was adopted by FDIC in October ... * WASHINGTON (9/10/09)--An analysis of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), which could be released this week, is expected to bolster the case for a consumer financial protection agency, according to financial observers (American Banker
Sept. 9). They expect the data will indicate a wide discrepancy in loans to minorities because of the financial crisis. The discrepancy could be used by consumer advocates to push for a consumer agency. Past data has indicated that minorities receive higher cost loans than white borrowers. Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) has said banks haven’t used the HMDA data to improve lending, which is “proof” an agency is needed. However, Gil Schwartz, partner at Schwartz and Ballen LLP, said the data is often overstated ... * WASHINGTON (9/10/09)--The Senate Tuesday confirmed George W. Madison as Treasury general counsel, where Madison will serve as a senior legal and policy adviser to the secretary and other officials. He also will lead the Treasury’s legal division. Madison formerly served as executive vice president and general counsel of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, College Retirement Equities Fund ... * WASHINGTON (9/10/09)--Vice President Joe Biden held a meeting Wednesday with The White House Task Force on Middle Class Families at Syracuse University in New York to discuss ways to help families save and pay for college. At the meeting, Biden asked Treasury to look into 529 plans and find ways to make them more effective for middle-class families. A 529 plan functions like a ROTH Individual Retirement Account and helps families save for college. Contributions are made with after-tax income. The task force also released a report
diagnosing the existing barriers to higher education and ways for families to access higher education ...